Informatica is a data integration tool based on ETL architecture. It provides data integration software and services for various businesses, industries and government organizations including telecommunication, health care, financial and insurance services.
Informatica uses the Extract, Transform & Load (ETL) architecture which is the most popular architecture to perform data integration. Once the Source system is connected and the source data being captured, Informatica supports several out of the box transformations.
Application of Informatica tool
Informatica is used for a variety of use cases. Some of these are listed below.
Informatica tool for Data Migration:
The company uses it to transfer from the current legacy system, such as the mainframe to the latest database system. Consequently, the transfer of its existent data into the system could be carried out. For example, a company purchases a new accounts payable application. PowerCenter can move the existing account data to the new application. Informatica preserves data lineage for tax, accounting, and other legally mandated purposes
Informatica tool for Application Integration:
The assimilation of information from several different systems, such as numerous databases and system based on files could be completed utilizing Informatica. For example, company A purchases Company B. So to achieve the benefits of consolidation, Company B’s billing system must be integrated into Company A’s billing system which can be easily done by Informatica
Informatica tool for Data Warehousing:
Companies establishing their warehouses of data will need ETL to transfer the data to the warehouse from the Production system. Typical actions required in data warehouses are:
- Data warehouses put information from many sources together for analysis
- Data is moved from many databases to the Data warehouse
- All the above typical cases can be easily performed using Informatica
Informatica tool for Middleware:
Informatica can connect a variety of sources, including most of the Application Sources.
- SAP certified Data Integration tool
- Can pull and push data into SAP R3, SAP BW systems
- Have connectivity adapter for majority of the Application Sources
- It can also be used as middleware between two applications like SAP R3, SAP BW etc.
It could be utilized as a tool for cleansing data.
Challenges with Informatica cloud platform
Informatica comes in on-premise as well as cloud versions. Informatica Cloud is a data integration solution and platform that works Software as a Service (SaaS). Informatica Cloud can connect to on-premises, cloud-based applications, databases, flat files, file feeds, and even social networking sites.
Informatica Cloud Data Integration is the cloud-based Power Center, which delivers accessible, trusted, and secure data to facilitate more valuable business decisions. Informatica Cloud Data Integration can help the organization with global, distributed data warehouse and analytics projects.
Informatica supports serverless deployments using Amazon EMR, Microsoft Azure HDInsight, and Databricks clusters with data engineering products. Once a developer builds mappings using Informatica Data Engineering Integration, customers have an option to run mappings in an existing cluster for on-premises deployment or serverless using the cluster auto-deployment option
The cloud version of the tool, however, has its limitations and challenges.
- Setting up and configuring Informatica over cloud – Setting up Informatica and integrating with existing services can be a challenge. It can still take a considerable amount of time and effort to get Informatica up and running.
- Tool management – Informatica over time has built a vast array of tools to address various user needs. However, as the number of tools grows, there is a need to add more and more physical servers. On the other hand, the other similar tools in the market function very well in the cloud environment. This does not bode well for the future looking at all the newer technologies which do not have so much of tech burden
- Multiple tools for single workflow – Most new tools have a great cloud version where you can hop onto a URL, do your work and deploy it in minutes. With Informatica, you still have multiple client tools just to be able to deploy a single workflow and monitor as it runs. This can be both confusing and overwhelming to users.
- Using Informatica PowerCenter for ETL designing – This can be quite intuitive for basic to moderately complex workflows. However, for achieving advanced tasks, there is not sufficient documentation available
- Cost of handling servers – Similar tools from Amazon, Microsoft, Google have advantages where the user can create and upload code, which can be automatically executed in a serverless manner where you no longer need to worry about managing servers, services, and infrastructure. All of that is handled automatically. But with Informatica, this is a decided disadvantage – the addition of physical servers escalates the cost of implementation.
- Updates and maintenance – Informatica Cloud architecture, the Secure Agent is a lightweight program. And it is used to connect on-premise data with cloud applications. It is installed on a local machine and processes data locally and securely under the enterprise firewall. All upgrades and updates are automatically sent and installed on the Secure Agent regularly.
Overcoming the Informatica Cloud Challenges
With the challenges of constant updates and therefore maintenance, the cost of handling servers and various tools, and the risks involved in large data handling, Informatica Intelligent Cloud Services (IICS) provides some solutions and workarounds to these challenges.
IICS eliminates the need for constant upgrades because Informatica performs them as new software releases become available.
As a cloud-native platform, IICS makes it easy to explore and try new capabilities and services, rather than requiring the users to install new software versions in their on-premises environments.
The challenge of setup and configuration time can be solved through the use of bulk data ingestion. With IICS, you can use a modern data warehouse practice of bulk ingesting data as-is into the landing layer. You can then apply transformation and curation logic afterward. This results in a three times faster load due to mass ingestion efficiencies and faster processing with push-down optimization (PDO), leveraging the native system commands and limiting data movement.
Informatica is a popular online tool for data management and migration. On the positive side, it is cost-effective and user friendly. However, unlike its peers, it does not have a serverless option. While the Informatica cloud version exists, it has lesser features compared to the on-premise version. Moreover, with large scale implementation, there would be a need for more physical servers over time. This makes it a less favourable choice as compared to its alternatives that provide more options and agility while on cloud.